17th April 2020

Loving Glass Series: Glass and Insulation

Insulation isn't just the furry stuff which gets installed into the walls and ceilings. Insulation makes up the whole exterior of your home, including your walls, floors, ceilings, windows and glass. 

What does insulation do? 

According to the Australian Government's Your Home website

"Insulation acts as a barrier to heat flow and is essential for keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer. A well-insulated and well-designed home provides year-round comfort, cutting cooling and heating bills by up to half. This, in turn, reduces greenhouse gas emissions." 

We have varying climate zones here in Australia. For example we know Victoria has a much cooler climate than Queensland, therefore the insulation levels required in the home from a building regulation perspective can differ. There is also a common misconception that buildings in warmer climates do not need to worry about optimising insulation, when this isn't the case.  Warm climates require good insulation just as much as the cooler ones do. 

Let us focus in on the humble but mighty window and how making the right choice can give you amazing insulation (without trading off natural light!). 

Do not reduce your window size - we repeat - do not reduce your window size! 

We love glass because the more of it you have the more access you get to one of the best design and functional elements a home can have, natural light.

According to the Your Home website, in winter windows account for 10 to 20% of heat loss in the home. In summer 25 to 35% of the heat entering the home happens through the windows. As a result, design and cost solutions can call for window to wall ratios to be reduced to enhance insulation but this can be to the detriment of comfort and natural light. 

This doesn't have to be the case, by choosing a better performing glass you don't have to trade off comfort and natural light. 

Choosing a better performing window frame and glass creates a better opportunity for the heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer to be reduced. Double glazing is more important now more than ever for all homes to ensure we create comfortable spaces, which aren't relying on powered heating and air conditioning. 

LightBridge next™ is our premium double glazing product which contains a thermal spacer. The spacer is what sandwiches the two pieces of glass together in a double glazed unit, and a thermal spacer is a better insulator. For more information about how double glazing works take a look here, and find out about LightBridge next™ here

See below a cross-section of a double glazed unit, two pieces of glass sandwiched by a spacer bar - this is then installed into your window frame by your fabrication team.  

One of the ways performance of glass and windows is measured is by using a unit called U-Value, these measurements support your builder and window teams to create a well insulated home. 

Scott Clarkson is a Building Performance Expert and runs Clarkson Consulting, he explains more about U-Value in our latest video. Take a look!